This is the fourth installment in what will be a five-column series of firearm recommendations. Each column offers three recommendations. The series began with the three most essential firearms and has progressed by adding firearms that are less essential but still desirable in terms of advancing three important interests: defense of home, defense of family and self when away from home, and raising responsible gun-loving children. I have focused on rifles that can be used for hunting purposes in order to advance that last interest – as hunting tends to teach young people about the important connection between gun ownership and self-reliance. So without any further rambling, here are today’s recommendations:
Taurus Judge. Previously, I have recommended three shotguns to help defend one’s home. However, in addition to keeping a shotgun under the bed, I strongly recommend keeping a handgun within reach of the bed. For that purpose, I recommend this versatile revolver. It is capable of shooting the slow and heavy .45 long Colt round, which has tremendous knockdown power. However, I must confess that in five years of owning this weapon I have not shot a single .45 round through it. The reason is that the gun also shoots .410 shotgun shells (but only 2 ½ inch, not 3 inch shells).
I prefer using this gun with .410 shells because they are increasingly available with reliable defensive loads. These loads combine a slug or several lead disks with round balls. When fired through the rifled barrel of the Judge, they spread very quickly. In fact, there are plenty of good You Tube videos that show just how well these rounds spread and how lethal they are from a defensive perspective.
Part of the justification for buying this gun is that if a burglar gets into your house and into your bedroom you might not be able to get to a shotgun. Hence, this serves as a lethal close range backup. It also can be carried in the car and used for primary protection away from the home. Finally, it makes a perfect snake gun when loaded with birdshot.
Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull. I’ve talked about defending oneself in the home and on the streets. But you also need a gun for self-defense while hunting. I’ve been unpleasantly surprised by wild hogs (in South Carolina) and even a gator (in Florida) while deer hunting. Sometimes in these situations it is hard to turn the hunting rifle on a quickly approaching threat. The problem is made worse if there is a scope on the rifle that is sighted in for long-range use. The solution in such situations is to carry a powerful sidearm. The beauty of this Ruger revolver is that it takes a .45 long Colt round, which handles most threats. In addition, it takes the .454 Casull round that is needed for those bigger threats one is more likely to encounter in big game hunting situations.
But this leads to a problem. We now have a big game sidearm with no big game hunting rifle. We will fix that with the next selection.
Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) 7mm mag. I understand that many readers will insist that big game like moose and elk be taken down with a .300 Winchester magnum. But I prefer the 7mm magnum round. With 160-grain ammunition, it has plenty of power, manageable recoil, and a flat trajectory. But you can also load it with lighter 140-grain ammunition when you are hunting mule deer as opposed to larger game. In a nutshell, this weapon offers both power and versatility.
We have reached the end of this column. And we are near the end of the series. Naturally, many readers are beginning to wonder whether I will address one final interest related to the defensive interests I have already addressed: Maintaining order in a period of civil unrest.
Given that the prospect of such serious unrest is increasing rapidly, my readers should already know what to expect in the final column.
… To be continued.